Bruce Lafone has been a part of the Asheville food scene for the past 15 years, in between jaunts to other locales, working at notable establishments like the Grove Park Inn and The Biltmore Estate. He came to UKIAH for a somewhat different reason – to run the BBQ program. Lafone loves working with open fire and using wood as the fuel source for his food.
You might say he was born into the business. When Bruce was growing up, his father owned restaurants in Richmond, Virginia, and Western North Carolina. After receiving Le Grande Diplôme (Cuisine and Pâtisserie diplomas) from Le Cordon Bleu in London, he began his culinary career in the UK, interning at Michelin Star restaurant Le Gavroche as well as Hotel Savoy.
Upon returning to the U.S., Bruce worked at Lemaire at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. He has honed his skills on the job with many award-winning chefs, including former Food & Wine Magazine Top New Chef of the Year Trey Foshee in La Jolla, California, and James Beard winners Michael Symon, Guillermo Pernot, and Anne Kearney. In his down time, Bruce loves to trout fish and “read anything” by Chuck Palahniuk. He also is a flavored seltzer fanatic.